Characteristic of Flexible Space of Traditional Urban Street under the Concept of Healthy City : Case Study of Muslim Settlements in Xi'an

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Healthy city refers to a whole which is organically developed by healthy people, healthy environment and healthy society. It can improve its environment, expand its resources, and enable the urban situation to support each other so as to maximize its potential (Trevor Hancoc and Len Duhl). Xi'an Muslim Residential Area was formed after the Tang Dynasty and lasted more than a thousand years. Muslim settlements in Xi'an take mosques as the center and form a spatial pattern of Residence Around Mosques, which is continuing the traditional scale of urban street public life in China, and becoming an important carrier of people's emotions, life and communication space. Xi'an Muslims have a tradition of doing business which the front of the house serves as a shop and the back yard serves as a residence. Therefore, the commercial activities there often extend from the first floor of the house to the street, forming an important public living space. With the extension of commercial activity space, this kind of place gradually becomes a functional medium, which softens the rigid boundary between the building and the street, thus forming a flexible space. This flexible space forms the event carrier of historical memory or the space field under the stack of daily life, which emerges a sort of reaction to space actors makes Muslim settlements have unique social and spiritual cohesion. It strengthens the stacking effect of historical information in urban space, then it constitutes the cultural information field of human-space-place. Taking Xi'an Muslim Residential Area as a case study, this paper analyses the types, attributes, characteristics and elements of these flexible spaces by the methods of typology, investigation data and Mapping, aiming at exploring the design method of traditional urban street flexible space based on the concept of healthy city as well as the healthy settlements.
Healthy settlements, Street space, Traditional yardstick, Flexible space